Looking for things to do in Port Aransas?
Situated on Mustang Island off the Texas coast, Port Aransas is a charming waterfront city in the Gulf of Mexico. Home to expansive soft sandy beaches and mesmerizing natural beauty, Port Aransas is a popular family getaway destination for Texans.
Despite its small size and population, there are so many things to do in Port Aransas. Whether adrenaline-filled activities like parasailing and skydiving tempt you, or you’re more interested in exploring all that downtown Port Aransas offers – there’s plenty to do.
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Things to Do in Port Aransas
So, without further ado, let’s dive into our list of the 15 best things to do in Port Aransas, one of the best places to visit in Texas.
Please note – Some of our selections contain affiliate links. These allow us to earn a small percentage every time you make a booking. Using our links enables us to provide all the information found on this site free of charge.
Hit the beach
If you love to soak up the sun when on holiday, you’ll be glad to know that Port Aransas is home to some of the best beaches in Texas.
Just like in Galveston the soft sand beaches that line the coast in Port Aransas are ideal for swimming, sunbathing, and admiring the sunset. You can even do a bit of surfing if you wish.
Port Aransas Beach is a great place to spend the day. Located close to the city center, the waves at Port Aransas Beach are ideal for kids and there’s even a local sandcastle expert who can teach them the tricks of the trade.
All you need to do is pick up a $12 beach pass and you can explore all of the beaches Port Aransas has to offer.
Parasailing is one of the most popular activities in Port Aransas. The Gulf of Mexico provides the perfect breeze for parasailers to soar high above the open water. Even kids can try their hand at this adrenaline-filled activity.
If you’re looking for a reputable parasailing company, Chute ‘Em Up is affordable, safe, and caters to all ages.
Drink Some Delicious Coffee
There’s no better way to take a break from the summer sun than to hit up Coffee Waves for a refreshing iced coffee or homemade gelato. Coffee Waves is highly regarded in Port Aransas and is a popular spot for locals.
They offer a huge range of specialty coffees, including cold brew and drip blends, as well as a range of blended drinks if you fancy something different. If you’re peckish, try one of their delicious sandwiches or baked goods to fill you up before heading back to the beach.
No trip to Port Aransas is complete without catching sight of stunning dolphins in the open ocean.
The Scarlet Lady offers the best dolphin watching adventure tours in Port Aransas. Cruise along the Lydia Ann Channel while keeping your eyes peeled for wild dolphins, seabirds, and natural landmarks that line the coast.
Choose between the regular dolphin watching tour or the sunset edition, where you’ll be mesmerized by dolphins frolicking in the light of the setting sun.
Visit Mustang Island State Park
Located just south of Port Aransas City, Mustang Island State Park covers 3,954 acres and offers 5 miles of pristine beachfront. There’s no better way to spend the day than exploring everything this natural wonderland has to offer.
There’s plenty to do, whether you just fancy a coastal walk or you want to do something more active like hiking, biking, camping, or bird watching.
The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and costs $5 to enter.
Port Aransas Museum
The Port Aransas Preservation and Historical Association hosts this charming little museum.
A visit to the Port Aransas Museum is a great way to spend an afternoon learning about the history of Port Aransas. The permanent exhibit includes videos of Port Aransas in the 1920s and 1930s, interviews with historical residents, and much more.
Roberts Point Park
Spanning 50 acres, Roberts Point Park features a boardwalk, pier, and playground. Spend the day wandering around this natural reserve, take in the views of Port Aransas and Mustang Island, and keep an eye out for sea turtles and dolphins.
Climb up the Keeler Observation Tower for unobstructed views of the surrounding area and to get some great snaps for your photo album. Be sure to pack a picnic and plenty of sunscreen!
Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center
If you’re a nature fanatic, there’s no better way to spend a day in Port Aransas than with a visit to Leonabelle Turnbull Birding Center.
This nature preserve is home to over 90 species of native Gulf Coast birds including ducks, pelicans, and songbirds, as well as various other animals.
You can learn all about the different animals and plants in the area while enjoying unforgettable views of the freshwater marsh.
Keep an eye out for one of the preserve’s local residents, a large alligator named “Boots” who likes to greet visitors on occasion.
Visit Aransas Pass Lighthouse
Originally opened in 1856, Aransas Pass Lighthouse is the second oldest lighthouse along the Texas coast. This historic lighthouse protects the natural pass from the Gulf of Mexico to Aransas and Corpus Christi.
You can only reach the lighthouse by boat or kayak, but there are plenty of local companies organizing boat tours to take you past the structure.
Time your trip to coincide with the sunset for spectacular views of the lighthouse silhouetted against an orange sky.
Catch an Unforgettable Sunrise
When standing on the beaches of Port Aransas, you’ll be facing east/southeast. This means it’s a great spot to catch unforgettable sunrises over the Gulf of Mexico. There’s no better way to start the day than by watching the sunrise over the calm waters.
Take a thermos with some hot coffee and a few pastries from a local bakery and sit back on the soft sand as you watch the sky turn all shades of orange and red.
You can even take an early morning dip in the ocean to wake up and energize yourself for the day ahead!
Explore Port Aransas on two wheels
One of the best ways to explore Port Aransas is on two wheels. See all the places you wouldn’t have time to fit into your day while getting plenty of exercise at the same time.
There are lots of places to rent bikes in Port Aransas. Whether you want a fat-tire bike for gliding along the beaches or an electric bike for scooting your way around downtown – biking is a fun and affordable way to see everything Port Aransas has to offer.
Amos Rehabilitation Keep
The Amos Rehabilitation Keep is a rehabilitation center for sea turtles and marine birds that serves the coastal zone of Mustang Island and St. Joseph Island.
Although it’s not open to the public, you can book a guided tour if you want to learn more about marine life rehabilitation and the wonderful work they do at the center.
Despite its small size and population, Port Aransas has a thriving music scene. PortALive is an association that hosts live music events throughout the city.
After a long day of exploring Port Aransas, there’s no better way to relax than with a refreshing pint of beer and some live music.
Check out the PortALive website for information about local artists, venues, and scheduling.
Cruise Around in a Golf Cart
If you want to do something a little different on your Port Aransas vacation, why not cruise around in a golf cart?
There are plenty of places to rent golf carts in Port Aransas for reasonable prices.
Port A Beach Buggies is the best-known place to rent golf carts that are sturdy enough to be driven on any kind of terrain – so you can take it around the town or on the beach.
Grab a Bite to Eat at FINS Grill and Icehouse
Looking for a great spot in Port Aransas to grab a bite to eat? Look no further than FINS Grill and Icehouse. Located on the Port Aransas waterfront, this family-friendly restaurant serves up delicious fresh seafood, Angus burgers, and other delicious island specialties. If you’ve been fishing, you can even bring your catch along and watch it be prepared and cooked by professionals right in front of you.
Places to stay in Port Aransas
Accommodation can make or break a holiday, and making sure you find a place that ticks all the boxes can be a challenge. Fortunately, there are plenty of accommodation options in Port Aransas to suit any budget. Here are our top picks for places to stay in Port Aransas:
- Plantation Suites and Conference Center: For a luxury accommodation option without the expensive price tag, the Plantation Suites and Conference Center offers stylish rooms, complimentary breakfast, and an outdoor pool and spa. This is a great choice for families.
- Best Western Port Aransas: Situated within walking distance to Port Aransas Beach, this mid-range hotel offers casual rooms and studio suites fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay. Enjoy the heated outdoor pool and complimentary breakfast.
- Ocean’s Edge Hotel: If you want to enjoy your Port Aransas trip in style, look no further than Ocean’s Edge Hotel for all your accommodation needs. Offering an excellent beachside location, comfortable rooms, a swimming pool, and a hot tub – this is the perfect spot to put your feet up and relax after a day of exploring.
Things to Do in Port Aransas Wrap-Up
There you have it, 15 of the best things to do in Port Aransas, Texas.
Whether you’re planning an adventure-filled getaway or a relaxing beach holiday, you’ll find plenty of things to do. With its small-town charm, natural beauty, and endless activities Port Aransas is guaranteed to be a vacation you’ll never forget.
As always, happy travels, and we’ll see you on the road!